Resilience Tips: How to Leverage Intentional Micro-Disruptions-Part 1
PART 1 of 2
By Sandy Davis, a.k.a. “The Resilience Guy”
When unexpected challenges come your way, you want to be ready to accept and assimilate them with power, grace, and creativity. In other words, you want to be ready to embrace emergent disruptions by reacting to them with a high degree of personal resilience.
One advantage of being exceptionally resilient is that you can bounce back from stressful situations quickly and gracefully. Another advantage is that, when the situation warrants, you can also hold your ground over long periods of time, even as you start to move forward in a manner that is slow, steady, and effective.
Thus, sometimes resilience is about speed of response, and sometimes it is about being able to hold a true course over long periods of time, in spite of forces that would otherwise knock you off course. And sometimes it is about both. In all cases, the trick is to be ready. It is critical, therefore, to develop and sustain a high degree of “resilience-readiness.”
The Importance of “Intentional Micro-Disruptions”
Because resilience entails reacting to challenging stimuli, you can actually increase your resilience-readiness by proactively choosing small, worthy challenges, and then practicing whatever it takes to meet those bite-size challenges successfully.
You can think of these challenges as “intentional micro-disruptions.” They are volitional minor disturbances that you design to upset your settled state ever so slightly. You actually want them to introduce a manageable amount of stress. As you set about resolving the resulting tension, these micro-disruptions provide you with seeds for your ongoing growth and personal development. They provide propulsion. They can tantalize you forward.
You want these micro-disruptions to be just big enough to force you to move slightly outside of your own well-established comfort zone, but small enough that you can enjoy continuous success in handling them. By developing an appetite for these ongoing (and often enjoyable) small disruptions, you can propel yourself steadily forward, into new territories, and in the direction you’d like to move.
When you intentionally set these little disruptions in motion, they require you to respond in ways that are adaptive and often innovative. As you practice responding this way, you gradually deepen your inner resourcefulness. At the same time, you expand your comfort zone, strengthen both your self-discipline and your self-confidence, and enhance your overall resilience-readiness.
Each time you master handling a chosen small disruption (i.e., each time you reach a point when it ceases to challenge you), you can step up to the next logical micro-disruption, re-introduce just a modicum of stress, and challenge yourself anew. In this way, your process of self-development can become both continuous and never-ending.
The daily increments of change that result from successfully handling these intentional micro-disruptions are normally tiny and not even observable. Over time, however, the aggregation of these daily incremental changes can be huge—so much so as to end up actually changing your destiny.
Intentional disruptions seed intentional change.
You are welcome to re-publish the above article in its entirety either on a web site or in a blog, providing you do not change the article and you include the following attribution in its entirety:
Copyright © 2009 Alexander M. (Sandy) Davis. Excerpted from The Resilience Manual: How to Survive in Stressful Times. To find out more about Sandy Davis and the resilience-related manuals, products, and services he offers, visit http://www.ResilienceWorks.com. To subscribe to his free monthly e-newsletter, send an e-mail to subscribe@ResilienceWorks.com. To reach Sandy directly, send an e-mail to sandy@ResilienceWorks.com. FYI, he’s “The Resilience Guy.”